Science & Technology

Bournemouth robotic hip replacement partnership celebrates five years

Professor Rob Middleton and Natalie Kemp

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: May 7, 2024 | Updated: 7th May 2024

A partnership between two Bournemouth organisations to perform robotic-arm assisted hip replacements is celebrating five years of collaborative success.

Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital and Bournemouth University first teamed up in 2018 to spearhead and complete the world’s inaugural research programme looking into the benefits of hip replacements performed by robotic-arm assisted surgery.

Led by Nuffield Health Bournemouth Orthopaedic Surgeon Professor Rob Middleton, the partnership has combined both clinical and academic expertise to create the largest study internationally which aims to make a difference in orthopaedic healthcare, for both patients and the health services alike.

Professor Middleton has been involved in the development of robotic surgery for more than 25 years and has completed 1,190 Mako robotic-arm assisted hip replacement procedures since the Mako technology was introduced at Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital.

In 2018 a study was started in collaboration with the Orthopaedic Research Institute at Bournemouth University (ORI BU) with the aim to look at the outcomes of robotic hip replacement using the latest gait lab technology.

Professor Rob Middleton said: “This partnership is unique.

“By harnessing the collective expertise of Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital, which provides access to Mako robotic-arm assisted technologies, with the scientists and specialist research equipment at ORI BU we have been able to undertake this groundbreaking study.”

Natalie Kemp, Health Systems Director at Nuffield Health Bournemouth, added: “As a healthcare charity, Nuffield Health is always looking for ways to improve the health and wellbeing of people in our local communities and the UK.

“We are immensely proud of the strides we’ve made in advancing orthopaedic surgery research alongside Bournemouth University.

“This continuous partnership brings real benefits, not just to Dorset and the UK, but globally, as we’ve not only demonstrated the effectiveness of robotic-assisted arm surgery in hip replacements but have also underscored the transformative impact it can have on patient recovery and wellbeing.

“We look forward to evolving our partnership with the university.”

Professor Middleton concluded: “Going forward, we aim to continue our robotics research and look at how future surgeons can be trained in the use of this technology.

“I hope that in the future robotic surgery can be rolled out to the NHS – a positive step forward for the UK’s health service, helping to reduce waiting list times and deliver better outcomes for patients.”

To find out more about Nuffield Health Bournemouth visit:

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